The Glutton Gets Off The Gluten
I like to eat. Duh, everyone’s a frikkin’ foodie. Correction: I can eat. What this means is that I can wolf down food like a… wolf. A hungry wolf.
So what does the hungry wolf do? One that has just learnt that everything it has ever loved, cooked, hunted and eaten is out of bounds, off limits and not on the menu? It eats a certain Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. ‘Cause she’s meat and gluten-free.
Dead meat, that’s me. Doomed. Not a hope in hell. I have signed up for a life without biscuits, cake and chocolate éclairs; pattice, samosas and cutlets; cheese, chutney and chicken sandwiches; pizza, Frankies and subs; alu, corn and cheese tikkis; pani, bhel and sev puris. Chana bhatura. Puri bhaji. Chicken rolls. Maggi noodles. Hakka noodles. Spring rolls. Wantons. Pasta.
And toast. What I am.
I’ll tell you what else I am. I am very very sorry for myself. I pound away at my hapless pillow in despair.
In the hopeful light of the morning, I am a less fearful warrior. I do not give in without a fight. I bargain, I make deals.
“But I can eat a little cake, na?” I ask Uma, my gluten-free soul sister.
“Can one be a little pregnant?”
I look at her quizzically, annoyed. “No gluten is no gluten,” she says, like a schoolteacher.
‘Why? How? Why not? A slice of cake! On my birthday, for crying out loud!’
She launches into a lecture on the whys, why nots, hows and how nots of eating a slice of cake on my birthday. Then she reads aloud. “The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten closely resembles that of the thyroid. When gliadin enters your blood stream, the immune system tags it for destruction….”
I need a drink. A chilled beer with lots of droplets, to douse the fuming steam.
“Sorry, no beer.”
“What??!! But beer has no wheat!!!!”
“Yes but it has barley, which has gluten.”
“Does a twenty mm pistol I shove into my mouth contain gluten?”